AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - Muhammad Ali, the greatest professional American Boxer, a pioneer in sport and in societal values, once said “I hated every minute of training, but I said, ‘Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.'"
Over the coming weeks, the NewsChannel 10 Sports Team will showcase different High School Seniors from across the Panhandle, who trained their entire lives, played through rain and sunshine, injuries and pain, just to play the sports they loved. As all of these unique athletes have different attributes that have made them the best in their trade in their respective areas, there is one thing that puts them in the same unfortunate field. Their seasons and high school playing careers were all cut short due to the outbreak and pandemic of Covid-19.
Here are the first seniors we would like to give major recognition to for their excellence on and off the field:
Everyone knows Dumas for its talented football team that made headlines for having an undefeated regular season this past year. But how about the Dumas Demonettes, the softball team that was also having loads of success on the diamond, starting their 2020 season 17-7.
In large part, it was due to their five seniors on the team, but for now, we’ll just focus on Destiny Saldivar and Itzel Escarcega. We’ll showcase the other three in a future edition of NewsChannel 10 Senior Spotlight, but for now, the dominant pitcher and fielding perfectionist in center will be our focus.
Saldivar, one of the top pitchers on Dumas, threw 55 innings this year, and struck out 40 batters. When she wasn’t throwing the spicy cheddar from the mound, she was recording 39 out of 45 put-outs from the hot corner, recording a fielding percentage of about 89-percent.
Not too shabby for the dual position threat. Add in center fielder Itzel Escarcega, well now you have a problem for any opposing offense looking to drop a couple of base hits anywhere near center field. Escarcega recorded 26 out of 29 put-out opportunities, a percentage of 93%.
The duo who were already stellar athletes, just got much better, because their batting skills made their fielding skills look minuscule in comparison.
Saldavar batted an impressive .467, smashing 18 singles, four doubles, 13 dingers, and knocking in 29 RBIs, all while crossing the plate 24 times. This all added up to an on-base-percentage of .535 and a slugging percentage of 1.040.
Escarcega wasn’t far behind, also smashing 18 singles, two doubles, but where she only had five home runs, she also found combined speed and contact to record two triples. The senior center fielder recorded 19 RBIs, scored 27 times, and batted an impressive .391.